Fake It Till You Make It

I got my first contract bluffing my way through the entire phone call. I knew WordPress, but I had never created a theme. I knew some HTML, but I had no idea how to use JavaScript to create the fancy menu they wanted. They also wanted me to make a logo. I’d never made a logo in my life. I didn’t even have Photoshop on my Mac.

I was 15. I got the contract because my Dad told someone who told someone else that his daughter knew about websites. And I mean. I did. HTML static websites of the 90’s. I was just starting to get back into the web development world, this time as a teenager instead of a kid who was just obsessed with creating anime-themed websites for other anime-obsessed people I only knew through the Internet.

But sure, I told them, I’ll do it. I had figured everything else out. I’d figure this out too! I charged them $50, to me that seemed like a huge amount. Then realized I had to get them hosting. I had no idea what hosting even was. I told you. I was just starting out. So then I had to go back and tell them it was going to cost money to get a host and domain. I felt like an idiot. But I told them. They gave me more money, and my dad used his credit card to buy the hosting and domain for them.I spent the next 3 weeks learning how the hell a WordPress theme works and hacking a theme together. I torrented an old version of Photoshop and whipped together the most horrible looking logo known to man. But at the time, I thought it was beautiful, and hey, my clients were impressed. (I was impressed they were impressed, haha)

It was the most challenging thing I had done. And knowing someone was paying me FIFTY WHOLE DOLLARS meant the pressure was on.  But hey, I had told them I’d do it. And I did. I learned as fast as I could, making a zillion mistakes, starting over repeatedly, breaking WordPress so many times with programming errors that if the website was a person, he’d have murdered me a long time ago.

so faked it. I had no clue what I was doing.

The people who hired me were so excited they threw a website launch party and put the website up on a huge projected screen. It was even in the newspaper. I had never been more embarrassed in my whole life; I actually refused to go to the launch party.

But 7 years later, I am a web developer. People pay me to do this stuff full-time. I have my own company. I have a dream fuelled by my ability to design and code. Yes. I faked it. And damn did I make it.

So. Thanks Dad, for bragging about me all the time. I wouldn’t be here without you. And to everyone else. Have a dream? Don’t feel legit? FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT BABY.